I’m still essentially following the Paleo diet, and now my husband is wanting to get in better shape–mainly by dropping a few pounds. That makes cooking meals slightly easier and more difficult all at the same time. On one hand, cooking meals is easier because he’s now perfectly happy eating exactly what I’m eating (whereas before he might have grumbled about the rice or couscous “missing” from his plate, and the “over” abundance of vegetables). But preparing meals is slightly more difficult in that the children don’t always want to eat my Paleo-inspired meals. They like a little “filler,” and since they naturally run lean, I’m perfectly alright with having them eat any relatively nutritious starch.
Everyone was thrilled the other night after I prepared a grilled zucchini and prawn salad for me and my husband, and used the remaining prawns to make one of my favorite stand-by dishes (fried rice), for the kids. Even better, dinner was ready in less than 40 minutes.
This salad might seem more appropriate for a warm summer night–when you can grill the zucchini and prawns on an outdoor grill (although I’m a big fan of the broiler when I just don’t feel like going outside), but we just experienced a week of uncommonly warm temperatures here in Northern California. My kids trooped around in shorts and T-shirts, and while I couldn’t bring myself to expose my still-pale-from-winter legs, I did wear sandals and T-shirts with cropped pants. (FYI -I guess as payback, we’re having a week of rain now.)
1/2 lb prawns, peeled and deveined
2-3 medium zucchini, washed, trimmed and sliced lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
2 garlic cloves crushed or 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
Extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon, divided
Sea salt and fresh-ground pepper
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp Champagne or good-quality white wine vinegar
3 large handfuls of mixed greens
Preheat the oven to broil.
Wash and dry the mixed greens and set aside in a large bowl.
In a small bowl, whisk together 1 tbsp olive oil, the vinegar, half the lemon juice, the mustard, 1/4 tsp salt and a few grinds of pepper. Set aside.
Put the prawns on 2 skewers and place the skewers in a small, shallow baking pan or grill pan. Drizzle with a little olive oil and season lightly with salt and pepper.
Lay the zucchini slices on a large rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tbsp olive oil. Lightly grind with your fingers and sprinkle the oregano, basil and garlic powder (if using) on the zucchini. If you’re using fresh garlic, spread it on the slices so each one gets a bit. Sprinkle 1/2 tsp sea salt and a few grinds of pepper. Place the baking sheet under the broiler–about 8 inches from the coils (which is the second “shelf” in my oven). Broil for 3-5 minutes or until golden brown on the edges. Flip the slices and broil another 2-3 minutes until the zucchini is cooked through and nicely colored. Remove from the oven and set aside while you cook the prawns–about 2-3 minutes per side under the broiler.
Toss the greens with the dressing and divide between to plates or large low bowls. Drizzle the zucchini and prawns with the remaining lemon juice and layer them on the salad. Serve immediately.
Serves 2 as main, 4 as a side.